Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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US first-half book sales down 6.6%

In the US, book sales were down 6.6% year-on-year for the first half of 2022, but remain about 15% higher than the same period in 2019—the last pre-pandemic year, reports Publishers Weekly.

Print unit sales for the period totalled 362.6 million, down from 386.6 million a year ago, with all major categories—except for adult fiction—declining. Adult nonfiction, the industry’s biggest category, had the largest drop of 10.3%.

Frontlist sales (books released within the past 12 months) were down 11.7% while backlist sales dropped 4.1%. Five titles by BookTok favourite Colleen Hoover were among the top 20 overall bestsellers for the first half of the year, which helped adult fiction post a 4.6% gain for the period. Romance titles saw the biggest growth, with sales up 33%, while graphic novels were up 10.5%.

Despite having the overall bestselling title with James Clear’s Atomic Habits, adult nonfiction sales were down due to declines in all categories except for travel. General nonfiction was down 17.7%, reference titles were down 16.1% and biography/autobiography/memoir were down 15.3%.

Every juvenile fiction category was down in the first half of the year for an overall drop of 7.5%, while YA fiction was down 2.7%.


Category: International news